Page 108 - The Chapka 2016
P. 108

  rity operations in the Arabian Gulf. As part of the Information Warfare cell, a ‘fused’ collection of Intelligence, Media, Psyops, ISTAR and Influence officers under the leadership of a Royal Marine SO1 (also hoofing), I was part of the daily cycle of infor- mation activity. So far, so boring, but when put into the context of the current UK political climate regarding Trident, defence sales to Saudi Arabia and the general human rights records of our Gulf partners, not to mention the constant stream of anti- Iranian rhetoric emanating from the recently inaugurated Presi- dent Trump, controlling the information surrounding a collec- tion of British, French and American warships a few miles off the coast of Iran gains a slightly more pressing significance. As the ship’s cultural advisor and resident Arabic speaker, my main focus (other than attending the ship’s ‘Reception Capability Demonstrations’ when alongside, also known as ‘cocktail par- ties’) was supporting the marines (yet more hoofing) from the embarked company when they deployed ashore to conduct bilat- eral amphibious training with their local counterparts. As much as I would like to add some more judgmental commentary for comedic effect, my experiences with both the Royal Navy and
the Royal Marines have been extremely positive, so, until my feet are firmly back on dry land, I’ll leave it at that.
In the last two and a half years I have spent nearly 15 months abroad, of which seven were on operations in Iraq, six were in Jordan and two were deployed with the Navy. The experiences I have gained have considerably expanded my knowledge of, and exposure to, the multinational, joint and cross-governmental spheres of operation (not to mention the expansion of my LSA days). I am a better and more rounded officer as a result, and now with a solid foundation in an operational language and De- fence Engagement activity, I look forward to re-engaging with this career stream later on down the line. With a little over six months left at DCSU I should have time to apply for one final deployment over the summer before posting back to a more con- ventional role. Would I recommend DCSU to those of you leaf- ing through the jobs list? On balance, yes. Would your desk officer? Probably not. As always, ultimately, it’s up to you.
Mufti day in Baghdad
  Jordanian marines demonstrate the concealing properties of blue
The author demonstrates cultural liaison best practice

   106   107   108   109   110